Game of Thrones Season 7 – Season Review
Yes, I’m still here.
But Game of Thrones isn’t, coming in short at seven episodes for the season.
And for once, I actually miss it.
TL;DR It’s time to turn on the lights and get these characters outta here. With the end now in sight, Game of Thrones finally picks up the pace and gets shit done. Which means it’s time for proper TV show levels of contrivance, ship-teasing, fanservice, and getting around the map in one episode, rather than spending an entire season travelling. Game of Thrones: finally an actual television show.
Season 6 could not have prepared us for this.
So as GoT is now an actual television show, it finally decides it does have a proper protagonist after all, and that is Jon Snow: our hero. Which means plot armour and sloppy conveniences as he spends his season trying to prove he’s the King of the North, and the White Walkers (and winter, obligatorily) are coming. Daenerys also finally claims her place as the typical female lead, which is Jon’s love interest. She, too, does her own posturing as the would-be Queen of Westeros, but when she finds out about the ice zombies, all that war stuff against Cersei kind of sputters out. Meanwhile, Cersei does an admirable job keeping the cuntitude at an impressively high level (not sure if anything will ever outdo her wildfire murder party from last season, though), but her and Jaime don’t move their own plots forward much more than a widening rift (due to said cuntitude). Meanwhile, Tyrion continues to be the writers’ pet, whose only faults are being a teensy bit too merciful and reasonable. Meanwhile, Arya finally reunites with Sansa back home in Winterfell, where they murder Baelish with the power of sistah-hood. Meanwhile, Sam keeps getting time wasted on him, which is even more egregious considering the season’s truncation. And things cap off spectacularly as the White Walkers, now with zombie dragon in tow, blast through the wall.
And into our hearts.
I mean, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my electrolytes aren’t replenished by the GoT True Believers’ cries of anguish over how impure the show has become.
But more than my contrarian spitefulness being rewarded, is that I genuinely enjoy watching Game of Thrones, now.
Game of Thrones used to be television’s most expensive soap opera. But now it’s television’s most expensive schlocky action fantasy show.
It’s like Xena with a shitload of money. And dragons.
It’s a good time.
Why I hate this season:
The only downside that comes with Game of Thrones throwing logistical logic, like the length of travel time between destinations, out the window is that the predictability factor is now destroyed. In a show where anything can happen because the plot says so, it’s not as fun to try guessing what will happen next. Because it could be anything.
Another downside of that is that now the most fanservice-y, obviously TV solutions to problems are sometimes the answer. Like Daenerys boogie-ing up beyond the wall in, what, a day? Sure, the dragons slaying the White Walkers and saving Jon was pretty sweet, but really, show?
Speaking of that scene, why didn’t Daenerys just direct her dragons to roast the White Walker Executive Squad? They flew around melting goons, while ignoring the upper management just a few metres away. Lazy.
Cersei remains my favourite character, but, now that she’s a cheesy TV villain, her selfishness has moved beyond objective self-interest and preservation into foolishness. Bitch, I love a good double cross as much as the next person, but if those White Walkers succeed, and you haven’t got the dragons and supply of Dragonglass that Jon’s campaign does, how do you hope to win? Think about it.
Does anyone really care about Theon’s sister?
Sam’s Doctor Strange subplots take up far too much screen time in a season that’s already poor on screentime. Next.
Oh, and as much as I loved the trashiness of Jon and Daenerys’ hook-up, like, who cares? Also, poor Jorah.
But it’s not all bad:
On the other hand, by the power of being an actual TV show, and not being the grimdark slog of misery of GoT past, Jorah is bizarrely cured of his incurable illness, and back on the team. I’ll give you that one, Sam. Now fuck off.
The swift kick up the bum of the looming series finale has really done a world of wonder for Game of Thrones. Gone are the days of the meandering, doomed subplot. Sure, world-building is important, and not every character in television’s most expensive soap opera is allowed to have endgame relevance, but will you miss Arya’s endless trip to assassin school? Or customer complaints in Meereen? Or the Sand Snakes?
Speaking of the Sand Snakes, they do end up providing the most pleasing scene of the season. Euron captures Mama Snake and one of the daughters (which one? Who cares?), and Cersei absolutely feels her oats while enacting her plan to poison the daughter (with the same poison used against Cersei’s own daughter. Delicious), while Mama is forced to watch her slowly die and rot in the dungeon. I think I ended up almost as wet as Cersei after that scene.
Cersei also gets to play in the season’s flat-out best scene, too. This one is saved for the finale, natch, as Tyrion risks his life for a one-on-one meeting with the homicidal current occupant of the Iron Throne. It leads to a rare moment of honesty for each of them, and theirs is one of the few compelling relationships left on the show. Even with all the dragons and battles and executions and zombies, a dialogue scene, well-acted and meaningful, is better.
Still on the Cersei track, even though she is a massive cunt, I was encouraged by Daenerys’ guiltless slaughter of Sam’s father and brother when they refused to bend the knee to her. Heroes don’t incinerate prisoners of war alive, Daenerys. So if our supposed Good Queen is out there doing that, then maybe Cersei of the Wildfire is still in with a chance. Plus, she’s pregnant, which is the strongest TV show plot armour there is.
This season was giving me some serious Suikoden vibes, which I am all in for. The meeting at the colosseum in the finale was oh so the Jowston Hill summit. And we’ve got Davos over here recruiting Gendry as the latest Star of Destiny, complete with his own themed weapon.
Jaime gets the season’s best line, with what I like to assume is a stab at HBO’s penchant for pointless nudity: “Maybe it really is all cocks in the end?” Not for Grey Worm.
The Arya/Sansa scheme against Baelish had what could be the trashiest moment of revelation this side of a legit daytime soap. Click click, bitch.
The White Walkers apparently operate on Original vampire rules, as killing the sire will destroy all their creations. Neat.
Oh, and I’ll happily admit that the zombie dragon’s obliteration of the Wall left me literally with my mouth agape. Keep on trashin’ on, Game of Thrones.